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Contemporary Uses Paper: Duncannon Log Church

1024 words - 4 pages

In Duncannon Pa at the top of Cemetery Road is the Duncannon Presbyterian Cemetery. The road narrows and bends in between large sections of green lawn filled with gravestones. Follow the most outside road around the cemetery towards the older side where the stones begin to fade, slow down for the sharp bend and at the far corner you'll find where the first log church that was built in Duncannon stood. The one that is standing there now is not that church, but a replica, built to look exactly like the original.
The original church was built in 1804 and was for both white men and Indians alike. The first preacher was Joseph Brady who was pastor for 17 years. It wasn't a greatly populated area but people came from miles around for the services. As the settlement grew so did the congregation and they soon built a new church on High Street in 1841. Even with the main church there were still occasional services held in the old one until is was blown down by a storm in 1866 (Hein, 957).
In 1970, Mrs Harry Clark Boden IV led the building of a replication of the church as a tribute to the early settlers in the area, especially to their ancestors who first ran the Clark's ferry. The contractor was a Mr. Charles Shirey who came from Birdboro and the project cost about $40,000. In 1994, a Mrs. Adele Fox gave a generous donation to help to restore the church. The outside was given a chemical preservation treatment and the inside was white washed and there today it still stands.
The church's architecture over all is simple. It is 24 by 34 square feet and set on a stone wall. It is a frontier style cabin and is made from hand hewn logs, which are notched at each end so that they fit together snugly at the corners. The roof is shingled, but look more recent that the building itself., most likely redone to help to preserve the whole structure. There are wood shutters on the windows and on the front of the roof is a plain wooden cross. Around back is a small door or large window blocked off with wood that leads to a basement that was most likely used for storage (Crouse).
The inside follows the same rhythm as the outside, with simple hardwood floors and plain white walls. The ceiling is straight wooden cross beams. Straight backed wooden pews line the main floor while the simple table, serving as an alter, and the pulpit are on a slightly raised platform. There is no electricity and the occasional users rely on the large shuttered windows to allow in enough light to see by as well as a few candles.
The little church sits in front of a line of trees that were once part of the old forest that surrounded the area but is now just enough to hide the fields and houses behind them. These trees seclude the church from the buildings behind it and give it a feeling, not of loneliness, but of stillness and peacefulness that...

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